Last week I asked a friend of mine about his business. He told me that he’d had a pretty good year so far but felt frustrated. For the third year in a row, he’s falling short of his annual goals but feels complacent since he’s still doing okay financially.  That complacency has led to him making fewer calls, having fewer meetings and doing less business than he’d like.

What’s the biggest killer of business growth? It’s not lack of skills or talent; it’s not a poor business plan or even the economy.

The biggest killer of business growth is COMPLACENCY.

How do you know complacency is killing your business growth?

  • You know what to do to grow your business but, for some reason, you’re just not doing it.
  • You’ve lost the excitement you used to have for your business
  • You seem to constantly hit a plateau in your business but can’t get to that next level of growth
  • You set the same goals every month or every year without challenging yourself to get your business to the next level

The antidote for complacency is PASSION. Here are some steps that will help you to get passionate about your business again:

  1. Create a 3-year vision for your life in the 6 areas of the life wheel below:

    Don’t get too detailed. Spend about 90 minutes and create a compelling future by writing a paragraph or two for each area.

  2. Rate yourself in each area. Where are you compared to your vision on a scale of 0% to 100%? If you’re at 80% or above in each area, it’s time to create a new, more compelling vision.
  3. Define 1-2 goals in each area that would get you closer to your vision. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistically high and Time targeted).
  4. Document your emotional “why” for the highest priority 2-3 goals on this list. Your “why” should include how your life will change if you accomplish the goal. What are the rewards of achieving the goal? What are the consequences of not achieving the goal?
  5. Create a detailed plan for the top 2-3 goals. This plan should include specific action steps and target dates.
  6. Read your 3-year vision daily to keep your excitement about the new, compelling future. Find other ways to keep the vision in front of you.
  7. Update this vision annually.
  8. Update your goals as needed.

Have you been complacent and found some ways to regain your passion? If so, I’d love to hear how you did it.

Are you complacent now? I’d love to hear how it’s impacting your business and/or what you plan on doing about it.

Jeri Quinn

Jeri Quinn from Driving Improved Results is an executive coach, management consultant, speaker and author who focuses on communication in her work with executives and companies. She is the author of The Customer Loyalty Playbook, 12 Game Strategies to Drive Improved Results in Your Business. With more than 40 years as a serial entrepreneur.

Quinn has worked with executives and teams in over 40 industries, spoken at major business expos including New York City’s Javits Center, facilitated business development and extraordinary customer service at institutions such as MoMA and AIG, and has partnered with New York City, The Kauffman Foundation, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and Signature Bank to educate their clients.


She can be reached at:

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